Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles is among the most revolutionary works to ever come out of the comic book medium. Morrison has built a reputation as the far-seeing hyper-shaman of the comics world, a counterculture icon and reinventor of the superhero genre, and The Invisibles may very well prove to be his magnum opus.
Say You Want a Revolution is the first section of Volume 1 of the 59-issue series, introducing the characters and a world driven by conspiracy theories and consciousness far beyond what humans can see. It’s difficult to explain, but here’s the gist:
An ancient alien conspiracy is farming humanity for energy, and one day they’ll consume our universe. The only people who know about this are The Invisibles, a group of counterculture soldiers, magicians, time travelers and weirdos who are dedicated to exposing the great conspiracy that will one day unmake the world.
Say You Want a Revolution not only introduces the veteran Invisibles, among them cocky King Mob, time traveling witch Ragged Robin and transgender sorceress Lord Fanny, but also introduces a new addition to the team, Liverpudlian street boy Dane. While roaming the streets of his native city, he’s recruited by a homeless man called Tom O’Bedlam, who sets out to show him the hidden city behind the one he sees, and reveal the magical potential within him.
That’s only scratching the surface. Say You Want a Revolution is filled with a miraculous kind of sensory overload, as the reader takes in everything Dane is taking in on the way to his transformation into Invisibles team member Jack Frost. Morrison’s boundless imagination coupled with the art of Steve Yeowell and Jill Thompson reveals an endless parade of haunting images, from a summoning of the psychedelic presence of John Lennon to eye-popping glimpses into other dimensions. Like much of Morrison’s work, it’s hard to adequately explain. You just have to…dig it, man.
The whole of The Invisibles is a graphic and literary revolution, a hand grenade that gets shoved up your ass and then blows your brains out into the cosmos. If you’re serious at all about comics, it’s a must-read, and Say You Want a Revolution is where it starts.